Our Path to Reopening

[Updated August 5, 2020]

Now that we are in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, which began June 26, you may be wondering when we will be adding more services and reopening our doors. Although many places, including neighboring libraries, are reopening to the public, our ongoing renovation project presents special challenges in our building that prevent us from moving as quickly.

In mid-May, we began renovation work on the west half of the first floor, so we had to fill most of the open floor space on the east side of the building with materials from the west side, including our very popular movie collection and new materials. This leaves very little space for patrons during a time when we need to maintain physical distancing.

Lobby space outside the auditorium at left, biographies where checkout desk once stood, Radmacher Gallery filled with shelving!

The new workroom that we need for checking in and sorting returned books and other items is just now ready to handle the more than 80,000 items that are currently checked out. We quarantine books and other items for a short time before they go back into public circulation in order to mitigate risk of exposure for patrons and staff. Please check your library account online and wait until your items are due before returning them so we can keep up and handle everything safely.

We hope to begin opening the building to the public when the second floor construction is complete, the nonfiction materials are all available once again, and staff are acquainted with the new spaces. The original schedule would have had this happen by now, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused some delays, and we are now looking at a likely completion date in September for the second floor construction.

We are all eager to share the new second floor with you, and we ask for your patience as we implement our plans to reopen our building in a safe manner.

We are continuing to offer curbside pickup for holds, online activities, chat and phone assistance, eBooks and other digital resources, and many other ways to use the library at home